Determining the Mole Ratios in a Chemical Reaction
Recommended for grades 9–12.
A balanced chemical reaction equation gives the mole ratios of the reactants and the products as coefficients. When some of the chemical formulas are not known, an experiment must be conducted to help determine the mole ratios.
This experiment uses two common substances as the reactants: hypochlorite ion (OCl–) from household bleach and thiosulfate ion (S2O32–), the active ingredient in a photographic “fixer” solution used to develop film. In the reaction, hypochlorite ions oxidize the thiosulfate ions according to the unbalanced and incomplete reaction equation below.
It is possible to identify the coefficients, A and B, for the reactants, without knowing the products of the reaction. The process that you will use to determine the coefficients is called continuous variations. You will prepare a series of mixtures of the two reactants. Each mixture will have the same total volume and the same total number of moles of reactants. The reaction is exothermic, thus the mixture that generates the most heat energy will be the reaction that completely consumes both the hypochlorite and the thiosulfate ions. You will use this mixture to establish the coefficients, and therefore the mole ratio, for the reaction.
In this experiment, you will
Measure the enthalpy change of a series of reactions.
Determine the stoichiometry of an oxidation-reduction reaction in which the reactants are known but the products are unknown.
Sensors and Equipment
This experiment requires each of the following Vernier sensors and equipment (unless otherwise noted):
Step-by-step instructions for computer-based data collection
List of materials and equipment
Note: The experiment preview of the computer edition does not include essential teacher information, safety tips, or sample data. Instructions for Logger Pro and other software (such as LabQuest App or TI handheld software, where available) are on the CD that accompanies the book. We strongly recommend that you purchase the book before performing experiments.